Mira Prabhu on parents and children and the challenges of life.
I just finished reading a beautifully crafted novel set in Greece where one of the protagonists is a billionaire who adores his only son. And so does his gorgeous mistress. It’s a bizarre situation, because the man’s wife knows he loves his mistress, who has free rein to enter and leave his home as she pleases, and even to openly entertain important guests in his house. This man is so wealthy that his wife has her own plush apartment attached to the main house, and so the two rivals never have to meet and be embarrassed.
Well, the boy enters the lavish room where his father and mistress are enjoying their martinis and chats with both of them in his charming way. When he leaves, the man says to his mistress: I know you love my son dearly, and I can see why, he is special, but I often wonder…
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Mira Prabhu on the Advaitic teaching of the “I AM”.
I am no scholar and tend to reduce the most sophisticated philosophy into easily digestible truths I can use in my daily life. Complication and complexity only keep me from going deep, I have discovered, and when ideas become simple, they also become fuel for the blissful enlightenment I seek.
If this ancient teaching is true, I often used to wonder, how then did such fierce individuality spring up, driven by insidious notions of ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘mine,’ along with the concomitant evils of competition, jealousy, demeaning others so we can shine as the sole jewels in any given scenario, etcetera? How are some humans capable of the worst crimes when they employ their special status or belief in their class, caste, intelligence or privilege as weapons of justification?
The usual answer, of course, is the ego. A friend in Manhattan once defined it as a nasty piece of work…
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“When the ego rises, all things rise with it. When the ego is not, there is nothing else. Since the ego thus is everything, to question ‘What is this thing?’ is the extinction of all things”.
The quote above from Bhagavan Ramana is from ‘Reality in Forty Verses’ (‘Ulladu Narpadu’), v. 26. It can be found in Bhagavad’s “Collected Works”.
Here Bhagavan eloquently points out that one cannot force oneself to give up the ego. The very attempt to discard the ego, is itself based on the assumption of separation from the whole. In other words, the effort to conquer the ego is based on egotism!
Such forced efforts to overcome the ego end up only reinforcing the notion that we are “separate” from the Universal Existence. With such attempts, the nonexistent phantom of the ego appears real in our imagination.
Hence Bhagavan Ramana says, “Question, what is this thing, this ego which manifests as a sense of separateness from the whole”? Where does it come from?”
This inquiry requires us to simply bring our attention to the sense of identity, the sense of “I AM”. It is only by bringing quiet, nonjudgmental attention on the ego, that the ego can be see through as unreal. The method is simple and yet the mind has to be made pure and subtle to grasp it.
Love to all
Part 2 of “Your Karma ate my Dogma” from Mira Prabhu.
The root verb of karma means “doing”, which includes thinking, speaking and acting. One classical definition of karma is the movement of the mind and what it produces in terms of speech and action. If, for instance, I were to think of eating an ice-cream, express that desire to a friend, then wolf down a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, I would have performed a complete karma.
But “doing” is only one half of the karma scenario. The other half constitutes the consequences that spring from our every thought, word or act. Karmic software has no viruses—it is perfect, infallible and inexorable. So why doesn’t every mafia don who traffics in hard drugs, prostitution and illegal arms end up being riddled with bullets in some dark and filthy alley?Why does a kind and ethical man go down the samsaric tubes, while low-life crooks happily sport Gucci gear…
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Mira Prabhu writes brilliantly about karma and her writing style captivates the reader.
An emerald green SUV shot past us on the long highway leading back from Washington DC to Takoma Park. I read the bumper sticker displayed prominently on its back and grinned: it read, as you might have guessed: Your Karma Ate My Dogma.
What I enjoy most about Americans on the eastern spiritual path—along with their heart-warming generosity and willingness to embrace the universe in all its crazy splendor—is their irreverent sense of humor. And yet, while the “k” word is bandied around in new age circles almost as much as the “f” word in Manhattan, few westerners seem to discern just how wide-ranging are the implications of karmic theory—by which I mean its potential for transforming human life.
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